Sunday, March 3, 2013

Meme Wars (Part 1)

There is a war for minds occurring, enabled by revolutionary technologies.  New ideas struggle with old ones to shape our destiny.  Our brains are the battleground between thoughts about how we should play, work and live together. 

Meme WarsPart 1 - Part 2 - Part 3  - Part 4 - Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7

Meme battleground
Idea creators build mental weapons that clash with one another in minds across the planet.  Mind share is the spoil of this war in this conflict of ideas.

When I read, I listen to past minds.  When I write, I speak to future minds.  This is true for all forms of communication.  Our literacy of what was said in past times will limit our future thoughts. 

The printing revolution allowed past minds to speak to many future minds.  Our current information revolution allows all current minds to speak with each other in almost real time.

As books created rebellions from medieval ideas, this new revolution of communication will lead to changes in how we live our lives.  The winners are not yet clear, but our culture and the nature of the human experience is in the balance.

In this series, we will consider past battles for brains and see how they might help us better understand our current mental wars. 

Memes and Memetics
Ideas striking the brain

Memes are ideas that spread from person to person in a culture.  Memes reside in our brains and affect our understanding of the world.

Memes are the mental equivalent of genes in the cell.  They have structures that create understanding in the minds they occupy.  Ideas can change the very structure of our brains and therefore our actions.

Memes reproduce by spreading from brain to brain through communication. Printing provided a means for memes to spread widely from a central source.  Printing could be thought of as a new method of meme reproduction.

Each mind can only hold so many memes.  Memes compete with each other for human minds like genes compete for resources.  Memes struggle for limited mind share in people’s brains.

In part two, we will consider Gutenberg’s printing technology revolution.  Examining how old ideas created new ones, we will illuminate battlegrounds and combatants in a war for minds.

Meme WarsPart 1 - Part 2 - Part 3  - Part 4 - Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7

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